Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Relationship between Buddhist Tantra and Hindu Tantra

Tantra can be a confusing term. If you read about Tibetan Tantra, it seems completely different from Hindu Tantra. Why does the same term cover such a wide range of practices? Kyabje Trijang Rinpoche explains the relationship between Buddhist Tantra and Hindu Tantra. (I don't agree that Buddhist Tantra is superior, however.)
Although some scholars have maintained that Buddhist tantra was derived from Hinduism, this is not correct. The theory, prevalent among those who adhere to the tenets of the Hinayana, is based on a superficial resemblance of various elements of the two systems, such as the forms of the deities, the meditations on psychic veins and airs, the fire rituals, etc. Though certain practices, like the repetition of mantras, are common to both Hindu and Buddhist tantric traditions their interpretation, i.e. the inner meaning, is vastly different. Furthermore, Buddhist tantra is superior because, unlike Hinduism, it contains the three principal aspects of the Path: renunciation, the enlightened attitude and the right philosophy. Read more

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